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A U.S. afternoon selloff spoils a global market rebound

August 2, 2021, 10:23 PM UTC

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Good evening, Bull Sheeters. This is Fortune finance reporter Rey Mashayekhi, filling in one more time for Bernhard with a special PM edition of the newsletter.

It looked set to be a resurgent Monday for the global markets after a disappointing end to last week, with the major exchanges in Asia and Europe all posting gains. But while New York initially appeared to be along for the ride, a late-day selloff sent U.S. stocks tumbling to end the day on a sour note.

Markets update


  • Markets in New York spiked to start the day, before later giving back their gains and eventually falling into the red late in the afternoon. The S&P ended the session down 0.2%, the Dow lost 0.3%, and the Nasdaq held onto a gain of less than 0.1%.
  • The Jack Dorsey-led payments technology firm Square agreed to acquire Australian “buy now, pay later” fintech Afterpay in a deal valued at $29 billion. Square’s stock (ticker: SQ) jumped 10% on the news.
  • U.S. manufacturing growth cooled for a second straight month in July.
  • The trading of U.S.-listed Chinese stocks hit a record high in July as investors grew skittish over Beijing’s regulatory clampdown on the Chinese private sector.
  • More than 300,000 Robinhood users bought shares in the stock trading app’s IPO last week.
  • A new ETF is designed to bet against tech investor Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest.


  • The European bourses climbed across the board. London’s FTSE gained 0.7%, Frankfurt’s DAX notched up 0.2%, the CAC 40 in Paris rose 1%, and the pan-European STOXX 600 picked up 0.6%.
  • German financial services giant Allianz saw its stock sink after it revealed a U.S. Justice Department investigation into losses sustained by its hedge funds in the early days of the pandemic.
  • Government bond yields in Europe are falling in a potentially worrying sign for the continent’s economic growth.
  • A fired Deutsche Bank executive says the German bank’s asset management arm overstated its ESG efforts.
  • Pfizer and Moderna are raising the price of their COVID-19 vaccines in new supply contracts with the European Union.


  • Asian markets put the jitters from last week’s Beijing regulatory clampdown in the rearview mirror (for the time being). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1%; in Tokyo, the Nikkei picked up 1.8%. On mainland China, Shanghai’s SSE Composite and Shenzhen’s SZSE Component jumped 2% and 2.2%, respectively. South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 0.7%.
  • The Chinese manufacturing sector delivered slowing growth in July, and there are signs that the Delta variant is hindering the Asia region’s economic recovery.
  • China’s government is seemingly taking a page out of the U.S.’s playbook by quietly imposing so-called “Buy Chinese” procurement guidelines for state-owned companies.
  • Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s biggest pension fund, significantly cut the weighting of U.S. Treasury bonds in its portfolio during the pandemic.
  • Banks are increasingly pulling back from financing coal power plants in Asia.


  • Gold gained slightly.
  • The dollar fell marginally.
  • Crude oil slid 3%, with Brent retreating to just north of $73/barrel.
  • Bitcoin sagged below $39,000.


That’s all from me; Bernhard will be back tomorrow, surely well-rested and better than ever. Please be sure to check out today’s reads below, and have a wonderful evening.

Rey Mashayekhi

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Today's reads

Buckle up: August is historically a rough month for stock investors by Anne Sraders

How Toyota kept making cars when the chips were down by Eamon Barrett

Desert streams: Netflix and other entertainment giants woo Saudi audiences by Vivienne Walt

Aramco douses cold oil on Bitcoin advocates’ hopes it will start mining crypto by Christiaan Hetzner

The fastest Indian tech startup to reach unicorn status is now eyeing an IPO by Biman Mukherji

How London become 2021’s hub for hot new tech IPOs by Sophie Mellor

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Market candy

$31.7 trillion

That’s the aggregate revenue generated by companies on the newly released, 2021 edition of Fortune’s Global 500 listIt's an eye-watering sum that actually shrank 5% from last year, due to—you guessed it—the COVID-19 pandemic. Those companies also reaped a combined $1.6 trillion in profits (down 20% from last year’s list) and employ nearly 70 million people worldwide.

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